yo man, go! were a lumberjack punch the air pop-punk-rock band based in philly (i think?). they broke up last year (pretty much the same time as street smart cyclist). they have a 7” called life lessons that’s out on square of opposition - with another one on the way from the same label. it’s the whole kinda fast/melodic/epic breakdowns/gruff and gang vocals/no idea records type stuff. this stuff is unbelievably inspirational. if i’m ever feeling a bit apathetic or nonchalant i’m increasingly turning to these guys for a dose of enthusiasm and absolute motivation. stuff is just oozing positivity. every time i listen i just wanna move to the states and do a road trip to see a band or something. i’ve only uploaded one of my favourite tracks because you can download their discography from the link below;
i think i mentioned that paul baribeau was one artist that rejuvenated my hope in music. this guy is probably the other. dan deacon is from north east u.s.a, shifting between new york and maryland when he’s not touring/somewhere else. i remember hearing the single ‘the crystal cat' from his album 'spiderman of the rings’(on the ace carpark records)early last year sometime and thinking it was alright. i, ahem, obtained the album but never really listened to it, or gave it anytime to grow…this i regret. massively. his new album ‘bromst' - nu-huh. i'm not making the same mistake again. i've listened to it constantly, as well as spiderman, that i've lost all notion of space and time. i cannot explain what his music sounds like. IS IT EVEN MUSIC? man, that's deep. but srly. this guy will be the future of electronic music if he keeps it up. imagine taking elements of steve riech, john cage, talk talk, animal collective, some feadback orientated noise band, mix in some crunchy synths, early instrumental anticon releases, 90's hip-hop esque sscratched vocal-samples and some unbelievably rad dance beats…, and you're still nowhere near what this sounds like.
also, live this guy looks absolutely off-teh-chain - catch some videos on you-tube or something. for now, here’s what wiki said; “Deacon performs from within the audience, his musical devices being set up on a low table, and surrounded by the crowd. His live performances involve constant audience participation, often requiring the attendees to perform physical tasks and games en masse during the songs, like opening a big circle and ask two people to dance in it.” just how is that not the best thing ever?
my favourite band finally upload everything they’ve recorded. that is their link. i was kinda hoping we’d get the comp with kiss kitty on out before but this is tremendously RAD. people should get this and listen. i remember the first time i heard the electric version of we lack science (it also appears on the acoustic cd-r e.p thing) and it totally floored me. proper real. like, tots. listening to them makes me hella nostalgic. sigh.
man. i was kinda blown away by this guy when i first heard his new record, painting sky together. tomasz is from wroclaw, poland and looks about 15. he makes some of the freshest laptop/ambient music i’ve heard in a while. combining stuff like stars of the lid, fennesz etc, and those artists that focus on the recording of everyday environments (water trickling, the noise of a cafe, a busy subway), he’s created something pretty special. its a bit glitchy at times, you wouldn’t be out of place to suggest the whole record was composed of fragile clicks and field recordings - but there is so much more to this record under the surface. the gentle, but unbelievably strategic placing of a few piano notes to the noise of a printer give some beautifully subtle moments that, although may take a few listens to full appreciate, are totally worth it. such a refreshing listen in a time when modern classical music is getting slightly stagnant and all too predictable.
pretty off the chain rad mathy intricate two piece emo from pennsylvania. this stuff is really catchy. kinda similar to tiny hawks in the guitar, a bit fiddly but totally on OVERDRIVE. and in the drums come to think of it - the guy knows how to play, and play hard! the record has some pretty epic gang vocals as well, which i always love. some tracks are completely instrumental while others host a pretty intense growl. i have no idea how this dude manages to keep it up live. i hope i get to see them live one day. s’gonna be one big singalong. the production on the record is sooo awesome - sounds massive. you need to play this loud. preferably with a beer. a wifebeater and baseball cap. room to rock out.
sin fang bous is sindri mar sigfusson from iceland and appears on the amazing morr label. similar to seabear (sigfusson actually plays in seabear), panda bear, loney dear, animal collective, even belle & sebastian at times, and anything on the morr label, its a bit folky, a bit bleepy/bloppy and a bit fun. it’s pretty colourful intricate pop that has this totally scando epicness that runs through the whole thing - tribal drums and soaring choirs. this guy seems to have an abundance of quirky melodies, displayed either through his voice, glockenspiel, organ, guitar, flute, and what sounds like…wind. if i close my eyes it sounds like what i image iceland in summer to sound like (the guy even has a track called ‘carry me up to smell pine’). the album was a bit of a surprise for me as i’ve been a bit behind on the morr releases lately, but oh what a lovely surprise!
paul baribeau is from michigan and plays folk punk. he is on plan-it-x records - also home to andrew jackson jihad, kimya dawson, ghost mice, defiance ohio etc. paul baribeau also rejuvinated my hope in music. for his first album paul stayed up one night and recorded 14 songs, mailing them to chris from plan-it-x who then liked it so much he put it out. it’s a bit messy, but brutally honest and oh so charming. his latest album is called grand ledge; which feels much much more concise, and confident. paul’s blurb on plan-it-x says he “sings about family problems, loneliness, broken hearts, crushes, romances etc. he will destroy you, if you’re a human”, and as horrible and cliche as that sounds it’s totally true. live and on record, he literally screams at you about new friends, old friends, being at college, being in a band, but most importantly about getting up off your whatever and doing something. he is positive, heartwarming, realistic. he makes me smile and my heart flutter. it’s so sad that more people don’t appreciate him because everything about his music is so unpretentious and unaffected by everything that makes the music industry so rotten. he also carries this off with the up most simplicity - guitar and voice. motivation at its finest.
lovesick were an emo band from the late 90’s, ann arbor, michigan. sometimes playing as a 3 or a 4 piece, lovesick played pretty frantic, sweaty, moving and beautifully penned music that could be described as the halfway point between palatka and joy division. their songs always tinkering on the side of complete meltdown only to be held together by crazy tight drumming, completed with unbelievably nerdy out of tune talking/vocals/wailing. so sooo good. if this doesn’t get you pumped i don’t know what will. discography out on harlan records. members now play in his name is alive and saturday looks good to me.
erik enocksson is another stockholm based musician. he has released a couple of 7” and a 9 track album entitled, with its dark tale curled ‘round the garage. erik plays a sort of scando-country with an almost distressed americanised accent that at times draws parallels to will oldham/bonnie prince billy. the rickety acoustic guitars, pianos, trumpets, organs, whistling and choir arrangements paint this reinforced picture of exploring gloomy landscapes, snowy mountain and misty hills. if his voice is reminiscent of will oldham, the musical side is very similar to mount eerie/the microphones and thanksgiving. it’s subtle and intimate, and at times pretty sparse, but the album is full of cosy/warm moments - especially when everything seems to almost fall together perfectly. it’s definitely a grower, and if you’re at all interested in non traditional folk music i’d give him a whirl.
tar…feathers are from stockholm, sweden. initially just comprising of marcus nyke but now made up of 3 or 4 members, live and on record. tar…feathers play indie rock that’s not a million miles away from early modest mouse and wolf parade - scratchy and stabby clean guitar coupled with drawl yelping vocals. the album, make way for the ocean floor to fall to the surface, is basically an awkward pop record. it sounds like it was made by the kid that was never that popular in school, but a closet poet and romantic. maybe. the production is spot on. the guitar sound clean and crisp but not like a U2 record. he also pulls out melodies like nobodies business - i wanna know where he keeps them.
kolya were a mid 90’s emo band who released two 7”s and a self-titled lp on caulfield records. i discovered these guys after looking for similar stuff to slint/native nod/the van pelt a couple of years back. although different, the almost speaking style of vocals is just as prominent. this stuff is serrrriously intense. the music itself isn’t terribly fast or angry, but the delivery feels so urgent that it literally floored me on my first listen. again, it wouldn’t be out of place comparing them to slint (especially some of the stuff on spiderland and the 10”), but kolya take whatever that formula was and kicking it around a bit - dial it up. with the adolescent sounding vocals on the earlier 7”s you can actually hear his chords quivering and almost ripping - guy means business. but anyway, one track from my favourite 7” and the closer from the lp.
woods are from brooklyn, new york. they are jeremy earl, jarvis taveniere and g lucas crane. i first heard of woods through the band meneguar a few years ago as jeremy, who plays in both, took woods on as the support for a bunch of meneguar shows (christian from meneguar also played in the original line up and on their album at rear house but i’m not sure if he’s still involved…jarvis from meneguar seems to be involved now - conclusion; it’s all a bit confusing!). anyway, this is proper lo-fi folk, as in, the amount of hiss present sounds like it was recorded in a cabin in the mountains on someones phone. they combine sing-along pop songs with tracks of field recordings/noise (which can be a bit frustrating at times) to create a pretty ecentric but accessible album that reflects each members interesting outside woods and meneguar - all are involved in lo-fi, noise, psych, folk labels. at times delicate, and others noisy and unpredictable. but never boring.
six twilights is aaron gerber, liz isenberg and zoe wright. they are from portland, oregon. they make absolutely gorgeous laptop/acoustic music that sounds like it was specifically put together for a crisp autumn day. there are pretty loops fluttering in and out, delicate fennesz style filtered guitar and these weird indescribable warm pumps that seem to ooze through the whole thing. the vocals layer up, pan from speaker to speaker, male and female, tying everything up just perfectly. definitely for headphones curled up somewhere. i have uploaded a more laptop orientated track and one more ‘songish’ composing of just voice and guitar. man, so sooo nice.
colossal are an indie rock band from elgin, illinois. they’re on asian man records, home to lemuria, andrew jackson jihad and some pretty bad ska punk. colossal are not ska punk. rarely using a distortion setting they opt for intricate clean guitar and some rad time signatures, coupled with a looooovely voice. oh, and some of the best trumpet this side of american football. in fact, they’re not a million miles away from a over excited and technical american football, with added jazz and movement. they’re also really happy guys. i mean, just look at their smiles.
teenage cool kids are from denton texas. they play indie rock. like, really awesome indie rock. i’m talking built to spill/pavement/u.s.a circa 1992. they do it better than most u.s.a circa 1992 bands. this is how it’s done. yeah, i went there. they have released a 7” and full length cd (one track from each appears above), with a new lp out pretty soon. this is straightforward, catchy, toe-tapping, full on hollering goodness. i’m not sure what else i can say about them. down the street was my summer holidays. “…and you speak so soft, and i’m tryin’ to understand you…”. so so rad.
the sight below is rafael anton irisarri. he creates murky, brooding, but not necessarily cold minimal techno (it even touches on ‘pretty’). similar to the ambient work of type record’s deaf centre; layers, loops, delay and noise seems to almost weave without any direction, but here a 4/4 pulse rushes beneath to give it foundation. imagine tim hecker merging with kompakt records the field and you have something close. this kinda stuff is perfect for late night, especially loud with a good set of headphones - but definitely not something to slap on to cheer/wake yourself up. thoroughly recommended for those people who are interested in trying out quite accessible ambient music. it’s pretty hypnotic, man.
the love of everything is bobby burg. bobby also plays in joan of arc and make believe. bobby has played in chin up chin up, hertzsprung gap and beauty pageant. bobby is from ohio but spends his time in new york and chicago. bobby is great. he has nine releases all together under the love of everything, including a total brill split with mount eerie. his music is quite hard to categorise, but i suppose it’s kinda sad lo-fi’ish indie…folk…pop? you can hear him chapping his acoustic and the noise of his swallowing. the songs, are at times, gutwrenchingly moving, but then in comes the casio keyboard and everything’s a-ok. his voice falters, and is tuneless in the most endearing of ways. his music is a testament to the gorgeous, the unpredictable, the twee, the slightly off kilter. an absolute gem.
street smart cyclist split up last year playing their last show sometime in september. they were from lehigh valley pennsylvania, and part of midwestmo revival of the north east. they played pretty mathy happy-mo in the vein of a gruff braid or cap’n jazz. it’s kinda punch the air/side step dancing/finger wagging emo that’s prefect for autumn and sunset car rides. they released a 7” (the two tracks above appear on it), as well as a acoustic cd-r. they will also appear on the thank you records (which i help run) cd-r comp that is due out in the easter. even with only a smattering of songs, these guys are probably my favourite band. members now play in jam makers snowing.
so i was shown this site earlier today and i can already see myself wasting an incredible amount of time here. i think i’ll be mostly using this to ramble about pretty mundane events, as well as posting about whatever i’m listening to at the moment. i’ll also fill it with my photographs and other bits and bobs. brilliant.
“name ten things you wanna do before you die and then go do them.
name ten places you really wanna be before you die and then go to them.
name ten books you wanna read before you die and then go read them.
name ten songs you wanna hear again before you die, get all of your friends together and scream them.”—Paul Baribeau